The ABC has released an apology after political editor Andrew Probyn falsely claimed Malcolm Turnbull was responsible for five by-elections slated for July.
During a story on the 7pm News on Friday 25 May, Probyn stated the Prime Minister chose the 28 July by-elections date.
According to a spokesperson from ABC, the statement “should have either been attributed to sources or presented in the context of explicit denials that he had selected the date.
“In the absence of such context, the statement was found not to have met ABC standards for accuracy.”
The person responsible for calling by-elections is, in fact, the speaker of the house, Tony Smith, not the Prime Minister.
In the apology, the ABC acknowledged the mistake, a move, which is “consistent with the ABC’s rigorous and transparent processes for editorial oversight.
Adding, “It does not detract from the body of quality reporting and analysis Andrew continues to provide to ABC audiences.”
The statement also called Andrew Probyn a “respected journalist” who “has distinguished himself with a large body of award-winning and news-breaking political reporting during his lengthy career.”
“Andrew is the first to recognise that the ABC has the strongest expectation of accuracy in our coverage and analysis of current events – he meets that expectation daily.”
According to different media sources, the broadcaster was forced to apologise after a member of the Turnbull government contacted the ABC.
Earlier this year, Probyn was accused of breaching journalistic codes by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for a comment made about former prime minister Tony Abbott.
During a report on Tony Abbott, Probyn called the former prime minister “the most destructive politician of his generation”.
Probyn was reporting on Abbott’s attendance at a Climate Change event in London last year, and referred to Abbott’s statement that climate change is was “probably doing good; or at least, more good than harm”.